Endolymphatic sac obstruction. Biochemical studies.Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 1977 Jul-Aug; 86(4 Pt 1):493-9AO
Inner ear fluids were studied biochemically in guinea pigs from 1 to 16 weeks after producing endolymphatic hydrops by obstructing the endolymphatic duct. Fluid collected from beneath the footplate showed changes of 50% of the animals indicating distension of the saccule. There was an increase in potassium concentration and decrease in sodium concentration of the collected fluid, indicating a traumatic mixing of endolymph and perilymph produced by rupture of the saccule during collection of the fluid. The smallest changes occurred at one week, and the greatest changes were found four months after endolymphatic sac obstruction. Similar findings were observed in studying inner ear fluids obtained from patients with Ménière's disease. Cochlear endolymph showed biochemical alterations after endolymphatic duct blockage. There was a two- to three-fold increase in sodium concentration and a decrease in potassium concentration with the total ionic concentration remaining approximately the same. Some guinea pigs showed similar changes in vestibular endolymph. This study indicates that in the guinea pig, endolymph obtained in the distended endolymph compartment has a slightly different sodium-potassium ratio as compared to the normal ear. In patients with Ménière's disease there may also be an elevation of endolymph sodium concentration. The significance of this change and hearing loss observed in experimental endolymphatic hydrops and Ménière's disease is open to speculation at the present time.